Like the rest of the nation, I have been saddened by the tragedy at the school in Connecticut. All of those poor children and adults who are dead. It is very mesmerizing for the nation, and feelings are raw, trying to find someone to blame to make sense of it all. People are blaming God.
I have learned in my own life that tragedies happen every day. Children are terminally ill. Children are struck by cars and killed. Parents abuse children beyond the scope of the normal imagination, (just ask my own beautiful children.) Tsunamis strike. Floods devastate. FAmines consumer whole countries. Earthquakes destroy communities and people. Murders and domestic abuse happens. I am sure that you can think of many, many more tragedies that have happened, and many more will. It is awful. It is saddening. It is unbelievable, and as humans we naturally look for someone to blame. Maybe there IS someone to blame in some circumstances, but God is not to blame. To attribute His involvement with us to cause every disaster is ludicrous. For which disasters should He take blame…natural ones? man-made ones? And how large of a disaster should he take blame? Where many people are killed? Where only one is killed? Where people are very ill and suffering? Where I get laid off from a job and have no money? Where I have blister on my big toe?
My point is, it is not God’s fault. We are placed on earth with our own free wills; on an earth that has always experienced natural disasters. We are actually lucky that we have not been wiped out completely by a wayward asteroid similar to the one that made the dinosaur distinct! But if we were to be destroyed, the ultimate tragedy, it would not be God’s fault. He loves us. We are all His children. He mourns when a child is severely hurt, a woman is a victim of domestic abuse, when houses and lives are destroyed by natural disasters, and when people are suffering. But if He were to intervene, then we would be but His puppets placed on this roller coaster of ride called earth. God may be Almighty, but that does not mean that he takes over for His children or his earthly creation. That would not fit the description of “life”.
Yes, I am greatly saddened by the Connecticut massacre. People may disagree with me vehemently, but I have empathy for the actions of the killer, who obviously was mentally ill. To have reached this stage of his life with such bad thoughts, (similar to the demons which cause violent actions from two of my own children,) is a also a tragedy. This incident took not only the lives of the children and adults murdered, but the life of a young man who will forever be vilified for his actions. It is a tragedy all around, and God is mourning with us.
Comments on: "Is God at Fault for the Tragedy in Connecticut?" (57)
Thank you for your honesty! I get so vexed when people are quick to blame God for the tragedies in our lives, yet deny His very existence on other issues. As a collective community we have to dig deep to figure out how to prevent needless tragedies, such as what happened in Newtown, from happening again. There is tremendous blame to go around. The only justice that can be found in such tragedies is to honor the lives that were lost by learning from the experience and being accountable for one another in the future. We have to make their lives count by not going back to the status quo, but finding real viable solutions.
Hi there, thanks for liking my post about the stroke survivor support group. Tomorrow we have our white elephant holiday party and I’m sure you could anticipate the sweetness of something like that like I do. Years ago I read Annie Dillard’s book For the Time Being where she wrestles deeply with the question you mention above. It gets mixed reviews depending on where you’re coming from but I wanted to thank you for reminding me about it. Take care, thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
It’s funny…the group with whom I work, (a recreational group for adults with disabilities,) is having their Christmas party tomorrow also and they are doing a white elephant gift giving activity also.
There is nothing more saddening than hearing that “Why did God allow this to happen, or does he exist?” Rather than seeing such troubles as an avenue to get closer to God and ask for Mercy, people blame God. He wouldn’t create us just to destroy us, but he understands all of these tragedies. We hope that violence will cease and there will be more peace in the world.
I too am sad for the young man who so needed help. Also his family that survived will suffer the pain that he has caused, the loss of him and his mother, and the sometimes accusing and alienating thoughts of a public that hungers for sensationalism and someone to hate. Sad all the way around in this broken world.
Thank you for your perspective, and your compassion. I know you have first-hand experience with mental illness as well, so it comes from the heart. I’ve also been saddened by the way your daughter has been treated with the arrest situation, and I really hope that the conversations that are starting around mental illness and it’s effects on this tragedy will bring about changes in the way our health and law enforcement systems treat people with mental illness… so that in our children’s futures these kinds of events can be a thing of the past.
I hope the same way as you, but fel this issue will be lost in a debate around gun control and 2nd amendment rights. I support gun control, but in this instance feel there is a greater cause or factor in what happened that needs to be addressed.
I agree, which is why I was compelled to share my own experience with mental illness on my blog, something that was very difficult for me. But I’m heartened by the fact that others are starting to do the same. If everyone else who’s been hurt by our lack of help for the mentally ill would do the same, we might just start to see some change. This mother, at least, is being heard, already almost a million people have read her story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share
You are a brilliant and articulate writer and beautifully expressed what we all need to hear. I will post on my Facebook page. Thank you.
thank you for your insight – it was beautifully expressed and we needed to read it..you have an unique perspective when you bring up the mentally ill individual who did this – who will pray for him? Is he in God’s arms now as well?
Yes, as controversial as it may sound, I believe he IS in God’s arms…
So well written. God didn’t cause this but He will help all to get through it if we ask. We need to pray for everyone not just those we think deseve His mercy. Thank you as always.
Well said. We should not blame god we should also not blame the absence of god in public institutions when tragedy strikes. Perhaps its time to stop pointing fingers and choosing sides but look for real solutions to real problems (dont like the word problens but cant think of a better one right now). Thats my 2 cents and I thank you for yours.
You have a beautiful and deep courage. Thank you for sharing your thoughts ideas and feelings.
Thank you for addressing 2 highly controversial topics in one well-written post. God and mental illness. I agree wholeheartedly on both accounts. On mental illness: My heart grieves and hurts so badly for the people affected (children, parents with no child now, all affected) AND my heart grieves for a child who never could find peace on this earth. Is there accountability and responsibility to be found? yes. But all have lost here. Adam lost 20 years of peace and hope and he vented his misery in the worst way. His mom lost her life, his dad and brother and other family members are no doubt in such shock and horror. The tragedy is all encompassing. and the solutions are not easy to find. I pray God gives us compassion, wisdom and discernment to help those with mental illness better and to find appropriate ways to help prevent such tragedies from happening.
On God: No, God is not to blame. In fact, we could use more of God in our society. As a matter of fact, not have enough of God is our downfall – that He is not included more in our decisions, schools, families and country. We have kicked Him out of society and then blame Him when things go bad.
As someone else commented – the grace and love of God is that He will help us through all these hard things – if we will listen. I pray we do. We all need mercy.
Thank you again.
Thank you for your support. It is nice to know that I am not alone in my beliefs.
I really love the message you displayed herer. Tragedies do strike every day and its our daily compassion and understanding- of everyone suffering- that will transform the world. thank you!
I want to appreciate and affirm your point that the young man responsible also deserves our empathy. We as a society need to question how we treat our most vulnerable, it’s not just about the gun issue. And I agree – God’s not to blame, we have free will and we, as a collective and individually, need to choose carefully and consciously how we choose to use it, and then take responsibility for those choices.
You bring up a great issue. They say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people? Well, to take that a step further, people who are badly abused and seriously mentally ill have the potential to kill people. I don’t say this to stigmatize mental illness, but to stress that there needs to be more treatment and understanding of their very real, and possibly very dangerous psyches.
I agree with everything you said, except for empathy for the shooter.
AS I responded to another reader, thank you for politely disagreeing with me about the shooter, (instead of calling me crazy!) I know that most people would have no sympathy and would be very angry at the person who did something like this. I may have also felt like that years ago, but now, having two children with severe mental illnesses over which they have no control, (including my daughter who was recently arrested for assaulting a police officer during a dissociative PTSD moment,) I have much more empathy.
I can see you point.
The one thing God is best at is forgiveness, He died that we might be forgiven. We must forgive for without forgiveness there can be no closure.
Thanks for this post. I don’t know why people blame God when Satan is the one to blame. In regards to the shooter, I’m torn. On one hand, he did something so evil that I want to hate him. On the other hand, it is tragic to see that evil could grip someone like that and that he was pushed so low to the point of murder and suicide in his life. This whole world is just messed up and it’s producing a lot of messed up things. I just hope the families are able to find some consolation.
This is, probably, the best article that I have read on this topic. I agree with most of what has been said, by you and comments here, except I don’t have empathy or sympathy for the shooter. My article yesterday covered my feelings. I have a son, that because of his mental ability is not capable of accepting responsibility for his action. that means, simply, it is now my responsibility. Thank you.
Thank you for politely disagreeing with me about the shooter, (instead of calling me crazy!) I know that most people would have no sympathy and would be very angry at the person who did something like this. I may have also felt like that years ago, but now, having two children with severe mental illnesses over which they have no control, (including my daughter who was recently arrested for assaulting a police officer during a dissociative PTSD moment,) I have much more empathy.
In response to your response 🙂
Reblogged this on James' World.
As I heard it said yesterday at church, HOW deeply saddened the Lord must be. For the fact that so many of His children were murdered, but also for the fact that ONE OF HIS CHILDREN caused this entire event.
I love your post, I too have been posting similar feelings on my Facebook page regarding the ‘child’ who did this shooting (he was only 20). I have been on the brink of that darkness when I wanted to take my own life, due to years of unrelenting chronic physical pain which resulted in massive emotional & mental pain as well. But it was MY children who got me through it all. Envisioning them losing me was too much for my heart to bear, as I had NO RIGHT to take their mother away from them. I saw my way through it but I completely understand the kind of pain ‘he’ was in! Of course I believe he did not HAVE TO take all these innocent lives with him, including his mothers and his own, I grieved hard last night over all of this, and continue to. It was all a great tragedy but I believe when things like this happen it is for ALL of us to learn from, for human’kind’ to become just that, ‘humans who are kind’. The society of this world has gotten away from what is most important that being, love, respect and non-judgement of others, It has become a society of MONEY & of the MATERIAL. It is sad that people think they can achieve happiness through such things, I believe true happiness comes from LOVING others, RESPECTING the views and lives of others, and NOT JUDGING our fellow humans, for we all have our own path to walk and should be free to do so without ANY discrimination’s! It is so terrible when we have to hear about these things on a daily basis, as we are saturated by the media, I stopped reading the paper and watching the News years ago, it just hurt my soul too much and I couldn’t do it.
I’m in agreement that there is NO way God is to blame for this, however, God can & will take the blame because God is LOVE and He knows when helps to ease the pain so then He’s happy to take that pain away for His children! He can handle being blamed more easily than the family of the ‘person’ who is left behind with this stigma for the rest of their lives and probably their children’s, children’s lives. God is always there for us and when we open our hearts we can & will feel Him. He creates life, He DOES NOT take it away. It is to Him where all the beautiful innocent souls of this shooting returned too and they are now there to watch over their loved ones.
I sincerely agree with your article and believe we must have compassion for EVERYONE on this earth because ‘who are we to judge’? Thank you for sharing you thoughts an feelings. I will return to read them all because I only skimmed through all the responses to your points of view but I noticed they have been similar in feeling and you have not gotten any ‘hate’ and I believe that is because when we put something out there with true feelings of kindness, empathy and compassion, the ones reading/responding will have ideals the same as or similar to yours and support you in your quest to help heal humanity. Good on you, you have done a wonderful thing here.
“God bless everyone, everywhere, at all times”
Thank you very much for your thoughtful, supportive words.
G-d”s ways are perfect, we are not. If we were to follow in His ways, as commanded, then these things would not happen. Only when the Messiah comes, will we see the end to tears and suffering. (G-d willing, SOON!)
As mentioned above, the answer is not to take away guns from law abiding citizens, but to increase funding to help the mentally ill. I suggest releasing all low level drug offenders (like petty pot dealers) and channeling that money into prevention and intervention instead.
Thank you for pointing out that if we all follow His ways, we would not have violence. I do fear, though, that there is no way that everyone could do that because we are all human and sometimes make bad choices. I try to follow the motto “What would Jesus do?” but sometimes, despite my best effort, I find that I have done something un-Jesus like…
What an excellent post. Yes it is tragic what happened at Sandy Hook and I am very sad for ALL families involved including that of the killler, but I don’t believe in God at all so how can he be or not be responsible for anything! I appreciate your empathy for the killer as, yes, there is too much untreated, unrecognized and undiagnosed mental illness in today’s society. Ãs an Australian, I think that the American gun laws need a serious overhaul. When we had a massive shooting tragedy in Port Arthur by a person everyone wants to forget the name of our gun laws changed almost overnight. Now we are all used to our strict gun control and there are very few shootings. Sure, if someone wants to kill, they will, but why not make it harder for them!
Linda, this is just to say I support the sentiments you express here [like so many others who have posted their comments], particularly the part about the poor disturbed creature who perpetrated this tragedy. No doubt the motivations were evil, no doubt he could not have done what he did had he listened to his conscience. Yet, it is deeply troubling to think that we will never be able to know what provoked him to do this. While our hearts go out to those kids – no more than babies – who had such a gruesome end, and to all their near and dear ones, and also to the school kids and others who were too proximate to the event to ever get over it – we also need to pause a bit to ask: why did one young boy do this, what made him do this? I think, as a society [not just American, but human society] there are lessons to be learnt from this tragedy. And we need to take time to look for them.
I have enjoyed scanning your blog! I think people blame others and God for many reasons.
Some times because they don’t have all the facts, and some times because they can’t look at their own weakness. Other times maybe just because it’s less work.
At any rate, I love that you point out that God gave us free will.
He loves us enough to let us choose.
With that thought in mind, I have to say what a blessing your choices have made in the lives of others.
Keep writing and I’ll keep coming back.
I’ll keep writing and I’ll be glad to have you coming back!
Reblogged this on Shashi Moore and commented:
I love this blog, because it addresses the current tragedy and as well puts into the right perspective how we should view the ones who are challenged with other mental disabilities. By reblogging I am paying tribute to the little children of Sandy hook and as well to the teachers who gave upp their lives trying to save the ones under theeir care.
Thank you for sharing this post with others.
Can’t blame God. Cut back on school support and social workers. Too many kids in a classroom. A future with little possibility. Raised in a warlike nation. Where nightly Soldiers faces are seen nightly. A million excuses. The USA need to wake up. I know of three kids in 11th grade. Volunteer for war because fear no jobs. I would be depress also. We need to have opportunity and make higher education available for all kids. Need love and kindness. Families who stay together. Many excuses and no real answers why someone would kill 6-7 year children. I pray for comment sense.
You have great insight. It is so easy to blame God for the problems in our world but we forget that he doesn’t create the problems – people do. We hurt ourselves every day and we should be reaching out to God for his loving support. I feel very bad for all those people who died but I also feel bad for that young man who did this terrible thing. Something must have gone terribly wrong in his life to push him into committing such a horrendous crime.
i having been following blog because we have a son with autism.. i have a blog called aurasrus.wordpress. i was pondering the issue of what adam doing right now and the children and the mother. i was able to see them on the other side by obeserving them.
I was listening to the tremble story of the children who had been murdered by Adam Lanza in the state of Connecticut. I was wondering what happen to Adam after he died and the children. In this world people are saying let God be the judge or Adam should be thrown into the ocean to drown for the gruesome action of what he had done, and some are saying he is going to hell. I was pondering what was going on with Adam and I was able to see him in a desolated space next to the bright light. he was gazing into the white vortex of light trying to understand what was going on with himself. when we go through the veil a person can be stuck looking at something for a longtime because there is no awareness of time. I look in on him a second time and he was moving about five in all directions constantly being in a state of panic. i am sure coming to the understanding what he had just done.
when i went to bed last night i was thinking of the children and i was thinking surely someone or a angle would take care of them. last night i was aware of a boat that stopped in front of me with the children and adults .
the information below i got from a website.
I think you are very right I was really moved by the last line where you wrote, “It is a tragedy all around, and God is mourning with us” I think that sums it up exactly. It is a tragedy and God too is mourning
It is nice to see that the faith community echoes the same sentiment.
i AGREE, GOD IS MOURNING DEEPLY.
Thank you! You are right, unfortunately, people start blaming whoever they can including god. This was a human tragedy and we need to talk about bettering the health system / especially mental health!
Yes, I completely agree!!
Dear 5KWD, I wonder if you would have any insight on the following. After doing a smattering of research I learned that virtually every mass shooter on record was taking antidepressant psychiatric drugs when they “went off”. The news media and many posting here are examining the mental illness angle, but we know that depression, asbergers, etc, does not cause homicidal behavior. However, it seems very plausible to me that these FDA approved psychiatric drugs, which have known side effects, may be inducing this behavior. I think it’s the drugs, not the mental illness. This makes way more sense to me than the idea that sometimes formerly quiet, law-abiding people are randomly “going off” and shooting rooms full of children. At the risk of sounding cynical, I also can’t ignore the fact that pharmaceutical companies are making billions from these drugs.
Please sometime, google “anti-depressants mass shootings” and let me know what you think.
I agree that every mass murderer may have been on antidepressants. It would go along with my theory that they have underlying psychiatric conditions. All of my adopted children are on psych meds. My oldest daughter has attention deficit disorder. Prior to medication, she couldn’t pay attention, she was flunking school, she couldn’t pay attention to read a book, and she developed sever anxiety over her inability to function “normally”. Once on medication, (which includes an antidepressant,) she brought her grades up to straight A’s, attended college, and has a career in her chosen field. I understand that some people would say that the side affects of medication would outweigh the benefits, she calls me from time to time to bring her medication to work because she forgot it, and she cannot concentrate to do her job. My middle son, who was born addicted to cocaine, has been diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses, but I personally like to give him just one: his brain and wiring is screwed up due to his prenatal exposure to drugs. As an infant he would flail about and injure himself, he rarely slept, wouldn’t eat, and climbed out of his crib by 9 months old. (He couldn’t walk, but he could climb!) He would run around destroying anything in his path. Without psych meds, it would have been impossible for him to attend school because he surely would have climbed out the bus window! My youngest son, who was severely abused in his early childhood, has Dissociative Identity Disorder, (previously called Multiple Personality) a condition in which a child withdraws within himself/herself when abused, sort of “blacks out”, so to speak, but another part of the brain still feels the affects of abuse. That other part remains in his “psyche”. Hidden. Buried. Showing itself from time to time in an angry, violent outburst, often requiring hospitalization. Without psych meds, he would not be able to function as well as he does. He would be encompassed by deep depression and obsessive thoughts. My youngest daughter has severe attention deficit disorder, and cannot sit still or pay attention without medication. Similar to my youngest son, she was abused as a child. Her hidden demons come back in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, tearful, angry aggression, often on herself, but sometimes against others. Without psych meds, she would not be able to function. She still has PTSD and “episodes”, but they are far less frequent than when she was not on medication and it would be a daily thing.
I understand people have different opinions about psych meds, but in my family, without them, it would have been impossible for my children to live life “normally”. I know that there may be side affects, but the side affects are far less intrusive on their lives than their mental health issues. The doctor always goes over the possible side affects, and not a single child has ever indicated they bother them.
Regarding your concept of not believing the idea that sometimes formerly quiet, law-abiding people are randomly “going off” and shooting rooms full of children, again, I can only point to my own children. Childhood abuse, even verbal abuse, and non-loving parents, can permanently harm a child’s developing psyche. Permanently. Even counseling and medication may not be able to fully quiet the demons hidden in a child’s brain. My son, who is the sweetest, nicest, most generous boy, often displays his “angry part”, a part so vile and violent that it reminds me of Linda Blair in the Exorcist. He is unrecognizable and so angry that violence surrounds him…sometimes resulting in a call to 911 for assistance with restraining and hospitalization. For my daughter with PTSD, her episodes are more invasive. The slight touch, smell, or thought can cause her to fall back into anger of abuse, and she dissociates and becomes violent. She is not herself…well, that’s not true because even when she is having flashbacks she is herself, but the self as a young child being abused. Regarding the randomness of violence, case in point: she was recently arrested for “assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon” when he charged towards her to get her to stop flailing about and screaming. (She ripped a board off the wall and tried to ward him off.) She is living in a restrictive, “locked” facility with staff trained in behavior modification and restraints, but her behavior has horrified and shocked them. It is not her fault, she cannot control it, but she is very violent. Other people looking at her would never think such a sweet, friendly child could harbor such demons.
I know many people not exposed to individuals who are mentally ill to the serious degree of my children would find it hard to believe they just “snapped”. No one never knows if a person who appears to be “normal and quiet” is really “normal and quiet” underneath. I believe wholeheartedly that one has to have a mental illness, even if undiagnosed, to be a mass murderer. I believe no one in his/her “right” mind could possibly do such a thing! Of course, this is just my biased opinion…
Linda, Thank you for taking the time to respond so comprehensively to me. I suspected that you have had up-close experience with these meds. I think I really needed to hear your perspective. You have successfully and singlehandedly moderated my viewpoint. My firstborn son has a disability and used to be on meds to control his seizures, but was able to come off of them as an adult. I think ours was a cake walk compared to your journey.
Also, I want to tell you that I have the utmost respect for what you are doing in voluntarily caring for these kids. It’s why I followed your blog. My wife and I like to say that life is about loving relationships. Knowing of people like you helps to make the world make sense for all of us. May God strengthen you and give you grace and rest.
I believe Satan is doing his best to cause disharmony amonst us. I was alway’s talught that God does not make things happen, he allows them to happen as we all have free will. As to empathy for Adam Lanza,That, is a tough one and one I had not considered. Thank you for giving me another perspective. I have not really judged either way; not knowing where in his mind he was coming from. I, like the rest of the world have focuesed on the ones who died; however, I have tried to focus on all of them, as my post explained and not just on the children.
Thank you for this thoughtful post. It is a sad situation all around. As a mom I feel a deep sense of loss regarding all the kids, even Adam. At some point in time even the shooter was an innocent little child. I cannot imagine the pain of the parents, including Adam’s father.
I don’t hold out much hope for making ‘sense’ of it, but I believe God can comfort all of those involved in this tragedy.
You are right…there is no easy way to make sense of anything like this.
I feel that we should look within and ask ourselves whether we are doing enough for our children. In our race to make life more comfortable for them we seem to be paying attention only to the material needs of our children. The young gunman reached a stage where he did not feel any remorse over harming little kids. How many more of such young people are out there who are not getting proper help? It’s easy to blame everybody else, but let’s take a moment to think about how much time we are spending with our children and are we giving them enough of ourselves ?
enjoyed your perspective